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Oil spill drill tests first responders in case of an environmental emergency

The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol held an annual oil spill drill Wednesday.
John Palminteri
The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol held an annual oil spill drill Wednesday.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol simulated an oil spill with a response to the harbor entrance Wednesday morning.

Multiple vessels and personnel were involved.

A special "boom" was pulled out of a trailer parked on West Beach. It was stretched out across the water towards the sandspit area. In an emergency, it would be used to keep oil from a spill or other incident from getting into the harbor waters, and the other direction, it would prevent oil from a harbor incident from going into the channel.

Lt. Nathan Alldredge said the Harbor Patrol had new and experienced responders on the drill. They have to be ready 24/7.

"There is that unforseen circumstance that we need to train for every year. If there is some kind of oil spill we need to respond for we have over 1000 feet of hard boom here that we keep in an emergency trailer  at all times," he said.

There is also a special hook that can be used on either end to secure the boom. In a real oil spill emergency, multiple agencies would be notified and join in to the response.

As the drill ended the boom was towed to the boat launch ramp, washed and restacked inside the trailer for storage in the harbor parking lot.

Article Topic Follows: Environment & Energy
oil spill
Santa Barbara

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John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT News Channel 3-12. To learn more about John, click here.


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